Daniel All Access


Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Pr. C. A. Murray


Series Code: DAA

Program Code: DAA000005A

00:04 Music...
00:25 Hello, once again we welcome you
00:28 to our study through the book of Daniel
00:30 called: Daniel All Access.
00:32 Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule
00:36 to meet with us
00:37 as we walk through this most fascinating of books...
00:42 it's companion book, the book of Revelation,
00:45 many of the things that are begun in Daniel
00:48 are concluded in Revelation,
00:50 some of the questions that are asked in Daniel
00:52 are answered in Revelation
00:54 and the two books go together,
00:56 we're very, very excited that somewhat later on
00:59 our Pastor and friend, John Lomacang
01:01 will be walking us through the book of Revelation
01:05 but for today, we are studying in the Book of Daniel,
01:07 Daniel All Access
01:09 seeking to ask the question not only what happened
01:12 but why it happened and who it happened to
01:16 and what does this marvelous book of prophecy
01:20 have to say to us,
01:21 we are coming down to the closing scenes
01:23 of the neo-Babylonian Empire
01:25 and you will note that
01:28 the Lord chose to spend a little more time
01:32 in Babylon or with Babylon
01:34 than He did some of the other kingdoms
01:37 until we come to an interesting beast
01:40 that speaks pompous words.
01:43 Then, the Lord really settles in
01:45 on that particular power and entity
01:48 but tonight, for our sitting tonight,
01:51 the title of the message is: eNIGMa
01:55 and we focus in on Daniel chapter 5.
01:58 Would you bow your heads now with me
02:01 as we seek the Lord in prayer.
02:03 "Father God, we do praise you
02:05 and thank you for the privilege that we have
02:10 of studying your Word.
02:12 When we open your Word with prayerful hearts,
02:17 there is always a message that comes to us
02:22 that can inspire, inform and encourage us
02:27 as we walk the road that leads to glory.
02:30 We ask, Father, that you give us your Spirit
02:34 for truly we cannot understand a word authored by the Spirit,
02:40 unless we are blessed by that same Spirit.
02:45 We thank you Father for sitting with us this day
02:49 in Jesus' name, amen. "
02:52 Pause.
02:59 On February 23rd in the year 1918,
03:05 a German Engineer by the name of Arthur Scherbius,
03:12 a brilliant man...
03:14 received a patent
03:16 for an electrical mechanical rotor cipher machine
03:23 it's a lot of words...
03:25 an electrical mechanical rotor cipher machine
03:31 that was later to be called: Enigma.
03:36 That is a picture of one of the early models
03:40 of the Enigma machine.
03:42 There were larger ones than that...
03:43 that is a portable one
03:45 but the Enigma machine enabled the German High Command...
03:53 that is... the military-grade Enigma machines...
03:57 it enabled the German High Command to communicate
04:00 with the Army, the Navy, the Air Force,
04:04 the other warring units of the Third Reich
04:07 without the Allied forces knowing the content
04:11 of their communication.
04:13 It was an ingenious machine
04:15 and early on, the Allies put much time and effort
04:21 in trying to decode the Enigma.
04:25 As early as December 1932, a Polish Mathematician
04:31 by the name of Marian Adam Rejewski... there he is...
04:37 he began working on a machine to crack the Enigma code
04:41 and that was the big thing across Europe and America
04:45 all of the Allied Forces were trying to crack the Enigma Code
04:51 so that they could understand
04:53 what the German High Command was doing.
04:55 So, Rejewski invested a machine
04:58 that he called: The Cryptologic Bomb
05:02 that was his personal name for his machine
05:05 and as the German Enigma machines
05:08 grew more and more complex,
05:10 the Polish Government
05:13 shared their work with the French Government
05:16 and the Polish and French shared their work
05:20 with the British Government
05:21 and it was left to a British Mathematician
05:25 by the name of Dr. Alan Mathison Turing
05:29 brilliant Ph. D.
05:31 there was actually a movie about his work...
05:34 Dr. Turing worked with a small team
05:40 of brilliant Mathematicians
05:42 and they realized that the key to cracking the Enigma code
05:45 was not knowing how to be an engineer,
05:50 but actually, it was a... a... a construct of math
05:53 and so, Turing and his group
05:56 worked to create an electro-mechanical machine
06:01 that was an improvement on the Polish Crypto bomb
06:06 and to create what was called the Turing Computer
06:11 which is what we call today "a user-friendly machine"
06:16 that completely cracked the German Military Enigma Code
06:21 and most scientists or rather, historians will say
06:24 that it was the cracking of the Enigma Code
06:27 that really led to the defeat of
06:30 the German forces in World War 2.
06:34 Dr. Alan Turing's machine
06:38 pause
06:40 was the first general-purpose computer
06:44 it is why... he is widely considered
06:47 to be the father of theoretical computer science.
06:51 Now, this is going way back to the 1940s.
06:54 His machine was considered the first general-purpose computer.
06:58 What is so interesting about the growth of computer science
07:01 there is... there is actually more computer technology today
07:05 in one of those little greeting cards
07:06 that you open up that plays the music
07:08 that has a little tiny computer chip in it...
07:10 there's more computer in that little greeting card
07:15 that you buy in the Pharmacy for maybe five dollars
07:19 than all of the computer science
07:21 that was in Dr. Turing's first machine.
07:24 Pause.
07:25 Dr. Turing is also considered the father of A I
07:30 which is Artificial Intelligence.
07:34 We understand that the word "Enigma"
07:38 is an obscure speech or writing...
07:42 something hard to understand or explain.
07:47 That's Merriam Webster's definition of Enigma
07:52 and so, it is quite interesting
07:55 that the Hebrew word for the mysterious and unearthly writing
08:01 that appeared on the wall of a Babylonian Banquet Hall
08:06 and traced by a bloodless hand,
08:09 the New King James uses a translation of the Hebrew word
08:14 "Qetar"
08:16 which means to untie a knot
08:21 but it uses the word, "Enigma. "
08:25 So, we're looking at the last days of the Babylonian Empire.
08:30 There in the midst of a riotous party,
08:33 a bloodless hand wrote on the wall
08:37 some words
08:38 that for those who were watching them...
08:43 they were an enigma.
08:46 Belshazzar was the king,
08:49 he was just hours away from the end of his life,
08:54 hours away from the end of the Babylonian Empire,
08:58 just hours away from the capture of the city
09:03 and just hours away from his earthly end.
09:07 Pause.
09:11 Daniel now, is told by Belshazzar,
09:15 "I need you to unwrap... to decipher...
09:20 to explain this enigma. "
09:23 He didn't know what the handwriting on the wall meant.
09:28 He knew that it was important and like Nebuchadnezzar,
09:34 he knew that it was not good
09:37 but he didn't know what it meant
09:40 and so, he turns to his...
09:44 his... confidante Daniel
09:48 just like his father, Nebuchadnezzar, had done
09:52 exactly 50 years before.
09:54 Now, Daniel was around a long time
09:56 and the Lord kept him as a spokesman... a long time
10:02 and so, now the grandson... a full half century later,
10:08 Daniel is again called to deliver a message
10:12 which this king knows, like his grandfather knew,
10:17 cannot be good.
10:19 He's called to decipher the message on the wall.
10:24 Nebuchadnezzar was troubled by both of his dreams.
10:29 Belshazzar was terrified by this writing.
10:37 Allow me to let Ellen White and the pen of prophecy
10:41 set the scene.
10:43 Let's go to that banquet hall
10:46 on the last night of the Babylonian Empire...
10:51 the last night of King Belshazzar's life.
10:55 The last night of this fabulous city some 2,300 years ago.
11:03 Pause.
11:09 It is 539 B.C.E.
11:14 and let's look at a couple of paragraphs
11:18 from the book, Prophets and Kings, page 523.
11:21 Again, Ellen White fills in the Biblical narrative
11:25 and lets us know
11:27 what is going on behind the scenes,
11:29 she gives us... all access.
11:31 We read, "Little did Belshazzar think
11:35 that there was a heavenly Witness
11:38 to his idolatrous revelry... "
11:42 you know, there's always someone who sees and who knows.
11:45 In the darkest of days, you can go down to the basement,
11:48 you can hide up in the attic, but you cannot hide from God.
11:52 There's always somebody who knows that's going on.
11:54 You think you're alone,
11:55 you think you're getting away with it,
11:57 but there's always somebody who sees and who knows.
12:02 and so, there was a witness to this idolatrous revelry;
12:07 that a divine Watcher, unrecognized,
12:10 looked upon the scene of profanation,
12:13 heard the sacrilegious mirth, beheld the idolatry. "
12:19 You know, God is... God is taking notes...
12:21 God... you know... what is it?
12:22 Galatians chapter 6 verse 7,
12:24 "Be not deceived; God is not mocked:
12:27 whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also...
12:31 that shall he also reap. "
12:33 God knows and God sees.
12:35 "But soon the uninvited Guest made His presence felt.
12:40 When the revelry was at its height
12:44 a bloodless hand came forth
12:47 and traced upon the walls of the palace
12:50 characters that gleamed like fire... "
12:53 you know, they must have been scared...
12:56 "words which, though unknown to the vast throng,
13:02 were a portent of doom to the now conscience-stricken king
13:10 and his guests. "
13:12 You got over a 1,000 people,
13:13 everybody's drinking, everybody's partying,
13:16 and all of a sudden, on the wall... a hand appears
13:19 and the hand begins to write
13:22 and the hand begins to write in words that are glowing like fire
13:27 you don't know what it means,
13:29 you don't know what it's saying,
13:30 but you know it can't be good.
13:32 So, a minute ago, they were partying,
13:37 now, everyone is quiet and everyone is scared.
13:41 Pause.
13:44 "Hushed was the boisterous mirth,
13:46 while men and women seized with a nameless terror,
13:52 watched the hand slowly tracing
13:54 the mysterious characters. "
13:57 That would have scared me.
13:59 Pause.
14:01 "Before them passed, as in panoramic view,
14:05 the deeds of their evil lives. "
14:08 Have mercy.
14:10 You're staring at something on the wall,
14:12 and you're looking at your own life
14:14 and you know those words are not a party greeting,
14:19 there's something really bad about to happen.
14:22 "They seemed to be arraigned
14:24 before the judgment bar of the eternal God,
14:27 whose power they had just denied.
14:30 Where but a few moments before
14:34 had been hilarity and blasphemous witticism,
14:38 were pallid faces and cries of fear. "
14:43 You see, "when God makes men fear,
14:47 they cannot hide the intensity of their terror. "
14:52 Amen.
14:53 The Bible says, "Be sure your sins will find you out"
14:57 and when God calls you into judgment,
15:00 you can't pretend to be cool and dispassionate
15:03 because God is reading what's going on in your heart
15:06 and God knows what's going on in your heart
15:08 and what's worse, when God calls you to judgment,
15:12 you know that God knows
15:15 and as she said in that final line,
15:17 "When God makes men fear,
15:19 they cannot hide the intensity of their terror. "
15:25 Pause.
15:27 So, Belshazzar the king
15:32 was the most terrified of all. "
15:35 And isn't it interesting as you read this chapter,
15:37 we don't even get introduced to Belshazzar
15:40 till the very last 24 hours of his life.
15:42 Did you notice that?
15:43 We don't get a lot of history on Belshazzar,
15:46 we don't get a lot of study into his mindset
15:49 like we do with Nebuchadnezzar
15:51 we kind of come upon Belshazzar
15:53 just as he's about ready to sign off
15:55 and just about... as the kingdom is ready to close,
15:59 that's when we meet this last king.
16:02 So, let's retrace now the footprints
16:05 of chapter 5 of Daniel
16:07 and begin at the end of Belshazzar's reign.
16:11 The fact that he reigned
16:14 and the Bible has absolutely very little...
16:19 almost nothing to say about his life and kingship
16:23 and as I said, we don't even meet him
16:25 till the last day of his life.
16:27 There's a spiritual reason for that.
16:30 Why is he this spiritual persona non grata?
16:34 You don't get a lot of history about Belshazzar.
16:36 During the last ten years of his reign,
16:40 he co-reigned with Nabonidus... that's his father...
16:44 Nebuchadnezzar's son
16:45 and he was such a historical non-entity
16:50 that most historians outside of the Bible,
16:54 don't even mention Belshazzar.
16:57 It is Hebrew scholars and Hebrew tradition
17:01 and Hebrew works that point him out
17:03 but outside of that, he's not mentioned too much
17:06 in... in historical literature.
17:08 Pause.
17:10 Some scholars didn't even believe he existed
17:13 but his name was found
17:16 and though he is relatively obscure,
17:19 he did reign for a while as co-regent
17:22 with his father, Nabonidus.
17:25 Only fairly recent discoveries in Babylonian text
17:31 mention Belshazzar
17:32 and they began to sort of clear away the... the fog.
17:37 So, the Bible says... he held a great feast
17:41 for 1,000 of his nobles.
17:43 This is a large party.
17:46 The Bible tells us that this was a... a big deal.
17:51 Now, I want to go to an Access Point.
17:54 Pause.
17:55 Why would Belshazzar hold a feast
18:00 on the eve of his destruction?
18:03 Why would he hold a feast?
18:06 The Medo-Persian army was outside of the gates.
18:11 You're getting ready to be attacked,
18:15 This is no time to hold a feast.
18:17 This is the time to get serious.
18:21 So, why would he hold a feast
18:25 at this time in the history of his country?
18:28 Well, I put some possible reasons down
18:32 in this Access Point.
18:35 One: Let's look at the dimensions of the wall
18:39 of Babylon,
18:41 now, I had to check my figures on this
18:42 because this is really quite something for an ancient city.
18:44 We find that the wall of Babylon
18:46 was 14 miles on each side.
18:49 14 miles on a side so that's 4 times 14.
18:53 This is a large city surrounded by a wall...
18:57 56 miles in total
18:59 so, if you wanted to start at one corner
19:01 and walk around the city of Babylon,
19:03 you got a 56-mile trek in front of you.
19:05 So, it's a big city
19:07 for ancient... ancient... ancient times.
19:11 Now, this figure I had to check several times
19:14 and several sources
19:15 because it seemed just unreal to me
19:17 but in all of the sources that I checked, including Herodotus
19:21 who is a great... the ancient Greek Scholar,
19:26 Herodotus says, the walls were 300 feet high.
19:29 Now, I checked that again because I said,
19:33 "Maybe there's a typo"
19:34 300 feet high
19:37 300 feet is the height
19:40 of a 30-story building.
19:43 It seems almost impossible, so I checked it again,
19:47 and I checked it again
19:48 and I checked it again...
19:49 and almost all of the sources agree
19:52 the walls were 300 feet high,
19:56 not 30 feet high... not 3 feet high...
19:59 300 feet high.
20:02 That's stacking the Statue of Liberty
20:04 on top of itself, three times.
20:06 Pause.
20:08 300 feet high...
20:10 25 feet thick...
20:13 that's 25 feet thick...
20:16 The ancient historians say that the walls of Babylon
20:20 were thick enough for four chariots to pass each other
20:24 in opposite directions.
20:26 That's a 25-thick wall...
20:28 25-feet thick wall...
20:30 Again, we get that from history,
20:35 Herodotus, I checked, says they were 80-feet thick
20:38 so, the numbers don't get smaller
20:40 they get bigger.
20:41 Suffice it to say, "tall wall... thick wall... "
20:44 pause
20:47 some archeologist say that the foundations of the wall
20:52 extended 35 feet into the ground.
20:55 So, you're looking at an imposing structure,
20:59 a massive structure,
21:01 just look at the numbers...
21:02 Pause.
21:05 300 feet high...
21:06 foundation is 35 feet in the ground
21:10 I suspect... if those numbers are true,
21:14 that Belshazzar trusted, pretty much, in that wall.
21:17 Wouldn't you?
21:19 You got a 300-feet-high wall
21:21 35 feet... they can't go over it...
21:23 it's 35 feet into the ground... they can't go under it,
21:27 it's 25 feet thick, they can't go through it,
21:31 so, he sees himself as being fairly secure
21:34 in the boundaries of this wall
21:37 that is 56 miles around all four sides.
21:41 Pause.
21:43 Someone had to know that the army was outside.
21:47 Someone had to know that they were under siege
21:51 but evidently,
21:53 Belshazzar trusted enough in his architecture
21:58 that he didn't feel
22:00 that he was in any particular danger.
22:02 The second reason that he may have chosen to throw a...
22:07 a party... to have a ball...
22:09 to have a feast on that particular night,
22:11 it may have been for moral purposes
22:13 or morale purposes...
22:15 You know, you've got an army outside
22:18 you're under siege,
22:19 that may be the best time to try to encourage your troops,
22:22 to try to encourage your nobles,
22:24 to try to encourage your lords,
22:26 by throwing a party.
22:27 So, a 1,000 of them come together,
22:29 they are secured behind their wall,
22:32 it is an ideal time for them
22:35 because they don't fear an attack,
22:37 your citizens, your satraps, your nobles,
22:40 rather than to let them get shook up...
22:44 keep them calm...
22:45 throw them a party.
22:47 Now, historians and archaeological scholars agree
22:52 that Cyrus gained access to the city
22:56 not by going over...
22:58 but by going under.
23:01 Pause.
23:03 The Tigris river... or rather, Euphrates river
23:07 was diverted... sometime ago when the Assyrians were there
23:13 they had built a lake that had dried up
23:15 and most scholars agree
23:18 that Cyrus discovered this engineering feat,
23:21 and simply dug a fairly innocuous channel
23:25 to drain that water into that pre-existing lake
23:28 and on that night,
23:31 something very, very tragic happened.
23:36 The river was diverted
23:39 and...
23:42 what is interesting to me is that
23:47 this... this engineering feat
23:51 wasn't a one-day feat,
23:53 wasn't a one-week feat,
23:56 that Medo-Persian army had to be out there for a while
24:00 and somebody had to know
24:03 that that army was out there for a while
24:08 and yet, Belshazzar chooses to have a feast.
24:13 This cavalier attitude in the face of danger.
24:17 His wives, his concubines, his generals,
24:22 his lords, they're all there...
24:26 the wine is flowing...
24:28 the music is playing...
24:30 and nobody is aware of...
24:32 or cares about what's going on outside.
24:36 So, you see the reason, number 2,
24:38 it's a morale booster...
24:39 he's trying to keep the troop's morale up
24:42 in the face of impending danger.
24:44 I'm in Prophets and Kings, page 523...
24:48 look at Ellen White's words here.
24:49 "With reason dethroned through shameless intoxication,
24:55 and with the lower impulses and passions
24:59 now in the ascendency
25:02 the king himself took the lead
25:05 in this riotous orgy. "
25:08 So, this is a bad time,
25:10 God is being blasphemed,
25:12 things are not going well
25:14 and they're throwing caution to the wind... as it were,
25:18 the king himself taking the lead
25:21 in what Ellen White calls, "an orgy"
25:25 Belshazzar is inebriated,
25:28 he is arrogant,
25:29 he sends now for the temple vessels.
25:31 You know, it's so interesting to me
25:34 that when people get full of liquor,
25:36 they kind of get a false bravado
25:38 you do things under the influence of alcohol
25:41 that you would not do otherwise,
25:43 your brain exits your skull
25:46 and you begin to think really, dare I say, dumb thoughts
25:52 and you do dumb things.
25:55 We used to have a friend... he was a friend of my mom's
26:00 my mother and her best friend worked in a hospital
26:04 and her brother was a Catholic Priest
26:06 and, bless his heart,
26:09 that was the fellow who liked alcohol
26:12 and when he imbibed alcohol, his personality totally changed.
26:18 The Bible is wise when it says, "Stay away from liquor"
26:22 nothing they can do to help you,
26:24 nothing they can do to aid you
26:26 and I think there is a spirit that comes into your...
26:30 your... your mind... your heart...
26:31 more than the spirits when you imbibed alcohol
26:36 and so, reason is dethroned.
26:39 They are intoxicated, they're not thinking
26:43 and Belshazzar says, "You know what?
26:46 Let's... let's go and get those... those holy vessels...
26:51 those cups... those bowls... those plates...
26:53 that my grandfather brought from Israel. "
26:56 Now, they've got cups and bowls and plates,
26:58 they don't need to get God's cups and bowls and plates
27:01 but that's what... that's what liquor will do to you,
27:04 it will... it will separate you from reason
27:09 pause
27:12 and so, the nobles drank from the sacred vessels
27:16 and the princess drank from the sacred vessels
27:20 and the wives... and the concubines
27:22 drank from the sacred vessels
27:24 and Ellen White says,
27:26 "... they drank wine and praised the gods of gold
27:29 and silver and brass and iron and wood,
27:33 they defamed and profaned the word and the name of God. "
27:40 Now, you know, Brothers and Sisters,
27:42 here's a lesson for us today.
27:44 The Bible says... God is a patient God, amen...
27:49 that's why we're not consumed,
27:50 we ought to thank the Lord that we serve a patient God
27:53 but you never know when God...
27:56 can I say... has it up to here...
27:59 you know what I mean?
28:00 You never know when God... because God will forgive
28:05 and forgive and forgive and forgive and forgive
28:10 but the Bible says,
28:12 "My spirit will not always strive with mankind"
28:16 and it says it very early in the Word of God.
28:21 Pause.
28:24 God took a lot of time with Nebuchadnezzar
28:26 and when we closed out the scene with Nebuchadnezzar,
28:30 we discovered... that Nebuchadnezzar was a saved man,
28:34 amen.
28:36 Yeah, Nebuchadnezzar's saved...
28:37 his name is written in the book of Life.
28:39 When... when the righteous come up,
28:41 Nebuchadnezzar is coming up with the righteous, amen.
28:46 Pause.
28:48 It was a hard battle... but the Lord got him.
28:50 That's why, I'm so glad that
28:53 we have that because my dad fell into that category.
29:00 Hard battle...
29:01 but the Lord got him,
29:03 amen... the Lord got him
29:05 but Belshazzar, for reasons known only to God,
29:12 the fuse is a lot shorter...
29:14 the string is a lot shorter on Belshazzar
29:16 and I think I know why,
29:18 I'm going to show you in just a little bit.
29:19 Suffice it to say, long or short...
29:21 God doeth all things well, amen
29:24 and everybody gets an opportunity
29:26 to accept Him or reject Him.
29:29 Now, Belshazzar was a bad king
29:33 and a bad person before this night.
29:36 Pause.
29:37 If he wasn't... this night would have never happened.
29:40 So, we get to meet him and get to understand him
29:45 on the last night of his life
29:47 but, make no mistake,
29:50 this is a pattern in his life
29:53 and we're going to see this in just a little bit.
29:55 This is a pattern in... in his life
29:57 so this is the last night of his life
30:00 and instead of circumspect behavior,
30:03 he throws a party
30:04 and then he wants to flaunt himself
30:07 in the face of God by drinking out of vessels
30:10 that he had to send for, they were not there...
30:13 he said, "Go and get them
30:14 so that we may drink from them
30:16 and defame the face of God. "
30:20 How sad... how very, very sad.
30:24 Pause.
30:28 You know, I think of this, this reminds me of Sennacherib
30:30 some 700 years before.
30:32 Pause.
30:34 This idea that kings feel that they can flaunt themselves
30:37 in the face of a loving God
30:39 and presume on the grace of God.
30:43 Pause.
30:45 So now, the God who had been there all night,
30:50 chooses to introduce Himself.
30:54 God had been watching
30:56 a holy Watcher had been watching and listening
30:59 all night long
31:01 and a bloodless hand appears and begins to write on the wall.
31:08 What did he see?
31:18 these words were actually written in Aramaic.
31:21 Remember, I told the first night that...
31:24 that Daniel is this sandwich
31:26 you've got Hebrew at the beginning,
31:29 you've got Aramaic... veggie patty in the middle
31:33 and then you've got Hebrew at the back end
31:35 so we're still in the Aramaic section
31:37 and these words are in Aramaic
31:40 but Aramaic is close enough to Babylonian,
31:43 the scholars say,
31:45 that they should have been able to understand it
31:49 had God wanted them to understand it.
31:52 What God was sending to them was a riddle,
31:55 it was a riddle
31:57 and it took Daniel to decipher the riddle.
32:02 Pause.
32:05 The words refer to weights and measures.
32:10 Here's the riddle, it is an Enigma.
32:16 Mina or Mene, Mena Tekel or Shekel,
32:22 Upharsin
32:24 so, here's the riddle, let's unpack the riddle.
32:26 Mene, Mene, Shekel or Tekel
32:31 or Mina Mina Shekel...
32:34 a Mina or a Mena is 50 Shekels
32:39 so this is a riddle that God is giving to them.
32:42 Pause.
32:43 Mena, Mena... 50 Shekels
32:46 a "Mina" or a "Mene" is a weight of currency
32:53 but it's also a measure of money.
32:56 So, Mena, Mena is currency currency weight weight
33:02 or money money cash cash
33:07 so, a Mina is a unit of weight and a unit of currency
33:13 as is a Shekel.
33:15 A Shekel is a weight, it's also a piece of money.
33:20 So, God is saying something in riddle
33:23 that they would have never understood.
33:26 God is saying, "When it comes to weight,
33:30 you are light. "
33:33 In other words, "you don't have enough weight
33:36 and when it comes to money, you are short. "
33:39 Amen.
33:41 That's what God is saying, "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin"
33:46 Mina, Mina, Shekel, Upharsin.
33:49 So, you don't have enough money to buy your way out of this,
33:54 and you don't have enough weight
33:56 to get your way out of this,
33:58 you are weighed in the balance and you're coming up short.
34:02 You follow?
34:04 That's what God is saying.
34:05 Mene, Mene, Tekel...
34:07 Mina, Mina, Shekel, Upharsin.
34:11 When it comes to currency, you are short.
34:14 Peres: is a word that was inserted in there
34:18 that means, to pull apart...
34:20 to separate...
34:22 and Upharsin... comes from the same root as Peres,
34:27 it means to pull apart.
34:30 So, here's the riddle.
34:32 Mena, Mena, Tekel, Upharsin
34:35 Mina, Mina, Shekel... separated...
34:38 God was saying that night, on that wall,
34:42 "I've weighed you, I've looked at your kingdom,
34:46 I've looked at you for the last ten years
34:50 and tonight, I've decided
34:53 you're a little light in currency
34:56 and a you're little short in weight
34:59 and the kingdom is going to be separated from you"
35:04 and so, Belshazzar calls Daniel in
35:06 and Daniel delivers the bad news.
35:09 His knees are already shaking like a little girl,
35:11 he's upset,
35:13 he knows this news cannot be good
35:16 pause
35:18 and we're looking at the last several hours
35:22 of this king's life and this empire's destiny.
35:27 So now, let's... let's take a moment
35:29 and re-chase retrace... rather...
35:32 Belshazzar's spiritual legacy
35:34 and there is much to be learned...
35:37 much indeed to be learned from his... his legacy.
35:42 Let's go back to Prophets and Kings
35:47 and I'm in page 523 and 524.
35:54 "Admitted in his youth to a share of the kingly authority,
36:00 Belshazzar glorified in his power
36:04 and lifted up his heart against the God of heaven. "
36:08 Remember, he had been ruling for ten years...
36:11 from a young man with his dad
36:14 pause
36:16 so he knew what it was all about.
36:19 He knew what it was to rule,
36:21 he had been doing this for a while.
36:24 "Many had been his opportunity to know the divine will
36:30 and to understand his responsibility
36:33 of rendering obedience thereto. "
36:35 This is what scares me
36:38 and scares pastors...
36:40 you have people who attend church every day
36:44 or every week...
36:45 Wednesday night Prayer Meeting...
36:47 they're in the presence of... in the face of...
36:51 under the power of God
36:53 and yet, in their lives, they determine
36:57 that they don't want to fully surrender themselves to Him,
36:59 that... that's what...
37:01 what always gave me fright when I was pastoring
37:03 that there were people out there sitting before me
37:06 listening to my words
37:07 and by their actions they're saying,
37:10 "You know what God,
37:12 I'm only going to give you this much...
37:13 I'm only going to go this far,
37:16 I'm not going to surrender everything...
37:18 I'm going to keep back a little for myself"
37:20 there's a pastor sitting right there,
37:22 every minister has that fear,
37:25 "Are you going to give it?"
37:27 and as I said the other day and I want to...
37:28 I want to touch on this again.
37:30 In your life... everybody's got to ask the question,
37:34 "How much is Jesus worth to me?"
37:37 You got to answer that question.
37:39 Sooner or later... and if you don't say it in your mouth,
37:43 your actions will answer that question.
37:45 "How much is Christ worth to me?
37:48 Is he worth everything or am I going to try...
37:51 am I going to try to negotiate with Jesus?"
37:53 "Lord, you give me this, you give me all...
37:56 I'll give you half"
37:57 pause
38:00 so, from early days, Belshazzar knew who God was
38:06 and he had the record of his grandfather
38:10 in his life.
38:12 "He had known of his grandfather's banishment,
38:17 by the decree of God,
38:19 from the society of men;
38:21 and he was familiar with Nebuchadnezzar's conversion
38:25 and miraculous restoration. "
38:27 He knew the story
38:29 and as I said to you and I want to repeat...
38:31 one of the most incredible miracles in the entire Bible...
38:34 seven years...
38:37 out eating grass like an animal,
38:40 no one to take care of him, no one to bathe him,
38:43 no one to destroy... uh, disturb him...
38:46 seven years...
38:47 no one comes and takes the kingdom,
38:49 no one assassinates him, he's in a weakened condition,
38:53 for seven years, the miracle took place
38:57 every single day
38:58 and when he came to his senses
39:02 and God brought him back,
39:03 the kingdom was right there as he left it.
39:05 It's one of the greatest miracles in the entire Bible
39:08 that God would take care of Nebuchadnezzar
39:11 for seven years
39:13 when he could not take care of himself.
39:14 Pause.
39:16 So, Belshazzar had that understanding.
39:19 He knew that story
39:20 and that story should have sobered him,
39:23 that's why Ellen White says,
39:25 "If... if... your spiritual batteries
39:28 are running a little low, sit down and...
39:30 and muse over the closing scenes of Christ's history
39:34 it will humble you... but it will also encourage you. "
39:37 So, Belshazzar had that story
39:41 "but he allowed the love of pleasure
39:45 and self-glorification to efface the lessons
39:49 that he should have never forgotten. "
39:52 You see, there are some things, Ladies and Gentlemen,
39:54 in this... in this world the Lord takes you through
39:56 you should never, ever forget,
39:58 you should never forget.
40:00 Sometimes God brings things into your life
40:03 they are meant to stay there as an ensign to you.
40:07 1979... I was driving along the Grand Central Parkway
40:10 in New York City
40:12 just past Shea Stadium where the New York Mets play
40:17 and heading through Flushing Park
40:20 and I came across an accident...
40:21 I've told this story many times
40:23 some young people got drunk... got into a car...
40:26 got the car up to about 110 miles an hour...
40:28 crossed over onto one, two, three, four
40:31 lanes of oncoming traffic
40:33 decapitated the man in the first car,
40:35 and came in to rest on the chest of the man in the second car,
40:39 and I got out of my car and I walked...
40:41 and I saw that car sitting in the chest of that man
40:45 and then I walked around the car
40:47 and there, lying on the ground in front of me
40:49 was a human head... lying on the ground
40:52 and I've never forgotten that to this day,
40:54 never...
40:56 it's like... I can see it just like that...
40:58 I've never forgotten that
41:00 and there on the bumper sticker of that car
41:02 on the car... the bumper of the car...
41:04 was a bumper sticker that said,
41:05 "Get it through your head, Jesus is dead"
41:08 never forgotten it...
41:09 never...
41:11 I've never forgotten it.
41:12 It's like... that happened in 19...
41:15 that happened Mother's Day... 1979
41:18 and I've never forgotten that
41:20 and it has... it has colored my ministry.
41:23 If someone can drive an expensive Jaguar
41:26 with a bumper sticker that says,
41:28 "Get it through your head, Jesus is dead... "
41:31 I've never forgotten that
41:33 ever...
41:34 and it has motivated me
41:37 to preach the gospel to this very day.
41:40 Now, that man has been dead lo these many years
41:43 and Jesus is still very much alive.
41:46 Audience: Amen... amen.
41:48 So, there are some things that you go through in your life
41:54 some experiences that the Lord brings you to... and through
41:58 that you should never, ever forget.
42:00 Never.
42:01 They ought to stay with you
42:03 and they are to motivate you throughout your life
42:06 and so, one of Belshazzar's mistakes was...
42:10 he forgot what Nebuchadnezzar went through
42:13 he let that memory slip from his mind
42:16 and Ellen White says,
42:18 "Some things should never, ever be forgotten"
42:20 something you ought to hold on to
42:22 so "he wasted the opportunities graciously granted to him
42:29 and neglected to use the means within his reach
42:33 for becoming more fully acquainted with truth. "
42:36 You know, here's the truth,
42:39 some people are going to be lost
42:41 not because of what they did
42:43 but because of what they failed to do.
42:45 Amen.
42:47 You got a Bible sitting on a coffee table collecting dust
42:50 you ought to open that Book up
42:53 some people are going to be lost not because of bad deeds,
42:57 not because they went out and sinned
42:59 or killed somebody or murdered,
43:01 they simply failed to grow in grace.
43:04 They simply failed... Ellen White says,
43:07 "When we fail to make use of God-given opportunities
43:12 for growth... growth...
43:14 heaven calls that 'treason'" Ladies and Gentlemen,
43:17 she said, "You are committing treason"
43:20 God puts something in front of you
43:22 that may be unpleasant to you
43:26 because He wants you to grow
43:29 and you say, "I don't want to"
43:32 that's treason...
43:35 but it is also a failed opportunity for growth.
43:39 Go next door and do something nice for your neighbor
43:43 well, "I don't like them and they don't like me,
43:47 I'm not going. "
43:49 That's a failed opportunity for growth.
43:53 Now, they lose out... because you don't witness to them,
43:58 but you lose out... because you neglected an opportunity
44:02 for God to help you grow
44:04 pause...
44:06 and Belshazzar had a long history
44:08 40 years... Nebuchadnezzar ruled that kingdom,
44:12 he knew that history
44:14 but he didn't take advantage of it.
44:16 "That which Nebuchadnezzar had finally gained
44:22 at the cost of untold suffering"
44:25 we went through his story
44:26 "... and humiliation,
44:29 Belshazzar passed by with indifference. "
44:33 These things which are written aforetime,
44:37 written for our admonition
44:41 upon whom the ends of the earth are come...
44:43 those things that Nebuchadnezzar went through
44:46 humiliated time after time after time
44:51 were done for Belshazzar's admonition
44:56 pause
44:58 he passed them by with indifference.
45:00 You know, when I was... when I was younger
45:03 it didn't occur to me that old people had any wisdom
45:05 pause
45:09 "they're old... what could they know?"
45:11 Pause.
45:17 "Old folks don't know anything... "
45:19 but as I got into my teens,
45:21 I used to actually actively seek out
45:24 old people to talk to
45:25 because when you're 15... an old person is 40...
45:29 now that I'm just a day or two beyond 40... I know...
45:33 I know a little bit better
45:35 but when you're young
45:37 you don't think old people know anything,
45:38 "my parents don't know anything"
45:40 pause
45:44 so there's wisdom there
45:45 and Belshazzar... you'll forgive my pejorative English,
45:50 "blew it off"
45:51 and that is why I believe
45:53 that the string... the fuse was so short on him
45:57 because he had the benefit
45:58 of all the years of suffering and humiliation
46:01 that Nebuchadnezzar went through
46:03 and he chose not to avail himself of it.
46:06 Pause.
46:09 He chose not to use it.
46:11 He understood what Nebuchadnezzar went through
46:16 but the lessons were of no value to him.
46:20 He wasted opportunities graciously given to him
46:25 and he neglected to use the means within his reach.
46:30 He didn't care
46:32 and a lot of people fall into this category sadly
46:36 Belshazzar could have known... should have known
46:40 and had every opportunity to know
46:43 but he chose ignorance,
46:46 he was willfully ignorant
46:49 of the will... the way... and the Word of God.
46:53 That is why... as I said before...
46:55 I worry about those who reject
46:58 overtures of faith by Christians.
47:01 People who live next door to Adventists,
47:04 people who work with Adventists,
47:06 people who know Adventists...
47:07 see, we've got... we've got...
47:09 we've got a duty to share
47:13 but they've got a duty to accept
47:17 and sadly the ranks of the lost
47:21 will be filled with people who let their opportunity pass by
47:28 pause
47:30 because they chose to be willfully ignorant
47:33 of the Word of God.
47:35 Surrounded by the accoutrements of Adventism,
47:38 but who choose not to...
47:40 not to accept and not to follow.
47:44 Ladies and Gentlemen, here's the truth,
47:46 pause
47:49 there is a price to be paid
47:51 for thumbing your nose at the grace of God.
47:56 Amen.
47:58 There is a price to be paid.
48:00 Pause.
48:02 I am so glad that we serve a longsuffering God
48:08 because as I look at my life,
48:11 I think I've tested Him a time or two,
48:13 in fact, I know I have
48:15 and don't look at me with your eyes so wide...
48:17 so have you... amen
48:19 but we serve a longsuffering God,
48:21 because I... I can look at my life
48:24 and I can think of more than one time
48:26 when I've made some decisions one... relatively recently...
48:31 when I said to myself in retrospect,
48:34 "What in the world was I thinking?"
48:37 Amen.
48:40 Pause.
48:42 Sometimes we can make some boneheaded decisions,
48:45 bad decisions
48:48 and they're not all...
48:51 they're not all... ones that will keep you out of heaven,
48:55 they're just flat, dumb decisions
48:58 pause
49:02 and you know, God loves you still.
49:04 Amen, yeah, He does.
49:08 Even those bad decisions, those boneheaded decisions,
49:12 when you think, "What was I thinking?"
49:15 Pause.
49:20 But the Lord loves us still.
49:22 But the truth is, there's a price to be paid
49:26 for neglecting the gracious overtures of a loving God.
49:32 Every day, there are people who are hardening their hearts
49:38 to the love of God.
49:40 That's why this story of Belshazzar
49:43 is so very, very important
49:44 because he had ample opportunity
49:47 that's the message...
49:50 he had ample opportunity
49:52 but he hardened his heart
49:55 and he let these things go by with indifference.
50:01 Pause.
50:03 Hebrews chapter 2, verse 3,
50:05 this is the New Living Translation.
50:08 I picked up one of these just a couple of years ago
50:10 and I like the way it... it takes this.
50:13 It says, "What makes us think...
50:16 what makes us think that we can escape
50:20 if we ignore this great salvation"
50:25 that's a powerful statement...
50:28 "that was first announced by the Lord Jesus... "
50:32 You can't ignore the overtures of God and escape punishment,
50:37 He loves you with an everlasting love,
50:40 He has promised never to leave you nor forsake you,
50:43 he's promised to give you...
50:44 He's more willing to give you good gifts
50:46 than earthly parents are to their own children.
50:50 He's promised to bless you,
50:52 He's promised to hear your prayers,
50:53 He's promised that if you confess your sins,
50:57 He will forgive your sins and He will cleanse you.
51:04 He's promised to give you grace.
51:06 He's promised to give you faith,
51:08 He's promised to give you all of those things
51:11 that pertain unto salvation
51:13 and all heaven is ready at your bidding
51:16 to assist you
51:18 so, how then, do you think that you will escape
51:21 if you ignore that kind of love
51:24 and that kind of grace
51:26 and that kind of caring
51:28 that God gives us.
51:29 You can have the presence and power
51:33 as long as you want... whenever you want...
51:35 the cafeteria is never closed,
51:37 He can always be with you and all you've got to do is ask.
51:41 You don't have to cut yourself,
51:43 you don't have to take a trip to Mecca,
51:44 you don't have to starve yourself,
51:46 you don't have to beat yourself,
51:47 you don't have to flagellate yourself,
51:48 all you've got to do is ask Him and He's there
51:52 Johnny on the spot
51:54 so how do we think we can escape
51:56 if we neglect that kind of love.
51:59 Audience: Yes... amen...
52:02 Pause.
52:04 Kind of escape...
52:06 and that is why... THAT IS WHY
52:12 Belshazzar had such little time
52:15 because all that was available to him
52:19 was neglected and rejected by him
52:23 and now we come down to the last night of his life.
52:29 Pause.
52:34 And the Bible has nothing good to say about this king
52:39 who had ruled since he was young,
52:43 there are no commendations
52:46 there is nothing good to be said about him
52:51 and now the clock is running out on his life.
52:56 His life too... is an Enigma.
53:01 As much of that Enigma as that handwriting on the wall.
53:10 Let's get back to Ecclesiastes chapter 11... chapter 8 rather
53:16 verse 11... and I'm in the NIV.
53:19 "When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out,
53:26 people's hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong. "
53:33 Danny Shelton tells a story... we were with him once
53:38 and I remember Pastor Lomacang was there...
53:40 and he had committed an infraction
53:44 I don't remember what it was
53:45 and I guess it doesn't really matter,
53:47 but his father told him,
53:50 "When we get home, you're going to get a spanking"
53:52 well, it was a little worse than a spanking,
53:54 there was a term that they use,
53:56 it's a sort of rural term and I can't remember what it was
54:00 but it means, a pretty good beating...
54:01 and this happened on a Friday
54:06 and they were at one of the relative's house
54:10 and so, Danny asked... could he stay over at the house
54:13 and the fellow said, "Yeah, just ask your dad"
54:17 and Dad said, "Sure, you can stay over at the house"
54:20 so he stayed over Friday night and then he said,
54:23 "Call my dad, and ask him if I can stay over another night. "
54:26 so he stayed over Saturday night
54:27 and, of course, Sunday you got to come home
54:31 so you can go to school Monday morning
54:32 and I suspect he thought
54:34 the infraction of Friday
54:36 will not be remembered by Sunday night
54:39 and when he got home his dad said,
54:43 "Now you think that you outfoxed me,
54:46 I'm going to give it to you worse...
54:49 not because you did so bad
54:52 but because you think that I'm not smart
54:55 and that my memory is so short. "
54:58 See, the Bible says when... when... when... when...
55:01 punishment for a crime is not quickly taken care of,
55:04 rather than being humble, we get haughty.
55:06 Amen...
55:07 We start thinking,
55:09 "Well God can't do anything, he's a paper tiger"
55:11 so, that Sunday night,
55:13 our dear friend Brother Shelton found out
55:16 that his dad was much like the Lord in that case,
55:21 he doesn't forget...
55:22 he was weighed in the balances
55:25 and found wanting.
55:27 Pause.
55:29 But the Bible says,
55:30 "Because punishment is not quickly carried out"
55:32 and so, for years and years and years,
55:33 Belshazzar neglected it, he just neglected it...
55:36 he neglected everything.
55:37 He neglected the history, he neglected the...
55:40 the things that God had showed him
55:42 through Nebuchadnezzar,
55:44 he just neglected it but now judgment has come.
55:47 The Talmud says that his last hours were not very flattering.
55:55 Then I read in my mission an account of his last hours
55:59 that actually... is fairly detailed
56:02 but I... I can't give to you,
56:03 first of all, it's gruesome, it sounds like a horror show
56:05 but suffice it to say... that very night,
56:10 while they were partying...
56:13 and this is what's interesting...
56:15 you know, there are always these sub-texts in the Bible...
56:17 my time is running out on me but here's what's interesting,
56:19 Belshazzar said to Daniel,
56:21 "Tell me what these words mean,
56:25 I will make you third in the kingdom,
56:28 behind my dad... I'm second... you'll be third"
56:32 when he was saying that to Daniel,
56:34 Ellen White says... the army was already under the palace,
56:38 so the kingdom wasn't his anymore... to even give,
56:41 he wasn't king anymore and he didn't even know it.
56:45 Shortly thereafter,
56:47 the army broke in... the party was ended...
56:50 the kingdom was destroyed...
56:52 and then, the Bible closes with this last line.
56:59 It says simply this, Daniel 5 verse 30,
57:05 "That very night, Belshazzar was slain.
57:09 And Darius the Mede received the kingdom,
57:14 being about sixty-two years old. "
57:18 What an inglorious end to the Babylonian Empire
57:22 but more importantly,
57:25 what an inglorious end to the life of its last king.
57:31 If there is a message from this incident,
57:36 the message is this, "Take God at His word,
57:42 take advantage of God-given opportunities
57:47 and where He leads, follow Him. "
57:51 Amen.
57:53 Audience: Amen. Pastor Murray: And Amen.


Revised 2018-07-30